Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

The Search for a New Provost continues

President Steven Bahls and Provost Pareena Lawrence head towards the stage in Carver during the 2015 Welcome Week Opening Convocation. Photo courtesy of Observer photo files.

Augustana will choose a new provost and vice president of academic affairs, with current Provost Lawrence leaving at the end of the year to become president of Hollins University.
Dr. Kathy Jakielski, professor and chair of communication sciences and disorders and head of faculty council, is heading the search with the help of seven faculty members.
“What largely will drive the new provosts initial goals is the 2020 plan. The Augustana 2020 plan is a strategic plan President Bahls and the board of trustees have developed to move us to 2020,” Jakielski said.
There are four main focuses during the search for the new provost and vice president of Academic Affairs that administrators are looking for. These four factors include the candidate’s dedication to enhancing the preparation of students with a particular focus on post-graduation, their ability to integrate academics with other facets of student life, value and affordability, and a dedication to diversifying the student body, faculty and staff.
The integration of academics with other facets of student life is an important goal for the new provost. According to Jakielski, the new provost cannot just focus on academics or sports individually. The new provost must focus on academics, sports, residential life, and other student organizations as a whole.
The new provost must have experience with budgets and understand finance. It is important that they are able to maintain the integrity of the Academic program when hard decisions need to be made regarding cuts and other aspects of spending. The fourth value of diversity and inclusion was added by President Bahls.
“The President recently added, very recently added, diversity and inclusion, and diversity is widely defined,” Jakielski said.
According to Dr. Jakielski, the new Provost needs to be dedicated to advancing the mission of the college, first and foremost. Along with this, the new Provost must be willing to stay true to the nature of the liberal arts education and continue to support Augustana’s religious affiliation.
“I am a big fan of the college’s strategic plan, particularly the integration of academics and student life, and diversity. Provost Lawrence provided great leadership in those areas, and I would like to see a new Provost who is eager to continue the work that she has done here,” Chris Beyer, the director of residential life, said.
The are seven faculty members who come from six divisions on campus and will take part in the search for the new provost. There is at least one faculty member from each department; therefore, each constituency and each division in represented in the search.
“In recent history, we haven’t had a dean so involved in student life, and Dean Lawrence is very different in that regard. A lot of people like that. Now that we have seen that and had that, we want that duplicated. We want that in the new provost as well,” Jakielski said.
A link for possible applicants will be launched on Feb. 1. It will be titled ‘The Search for a provost and vice president for academic affairs’.
Augustana Observer Co-Editor in Chief Ryan Jenkins is serving on the committee. He has removed himself from any and all editorial tasks relating to the search for the new provost.

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The Search for a New Provost continues